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Two printers off one pc?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Warbie, 30 Jul 2006.

  1. Warbie

    Soldato

    Joined: 30 Sep 2003

    Posts: 6,098

    Excuse me for being a noob, but is this possible? (i'm sure it is). My dad has two printers that he wants to connect to one pc. It's quite an old system and has one serial port.

    Will we need some extra hardware/cables?

    Any advice will be appreciated :)
     
  2. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    You can install multiple printers [you'll just have to choose which one in Print dialogs]. However you might need some kind of serial to USB adapter or something.

    If one or both were USB this would be much simpler lol

    SiriusB
     
  3. Warbie

    Soldato

    Joined: 30 Sep 2003

    Posts: 6,098

    Cheers for that. I'm pretty sure both are serial.

    I'll have a look for an adapter.
     
  4. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    I have absolutely no idea if they exist or not so don't try too hard to find one :p

    SiriusB
     
  5. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,829

    Location: Glasgow

    If both are serial then you can/could get switch boxes but I don't know if they still exist any more. Last time I saw one it was under £30 but I haven't seen any for a while.
     
  6. Corasik

    Soldato

    Joined: 5 Jan 2003

    Posts: 5,002

    Location: West Midlands

    Are you sure they are serial? Serial printers were never that popular with PC's. Older printers are normally Parallel, with newer models offering USB interfaces.

    I believe its still possible to buy USB -Parallel ports.
     
  7. utherpendragon

    Hitman

    Joined: 4 May 2006

    Posts: 508

    Make sure you check compatibility of USB->Parallel converters. As with USB->Serial converers they aren't 100% compatible with all peripherals.
     
  8. Warbie

    Soldato

    Joined: 30 Sep 2003

    Posts: 6,098

    You're probably right - i'll go double check.
     
  9. unde4d

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jul 2006

    Posts: 278

    Location: Eire

    You really need to be sure what type of interface the 2 printers are using. I'd presume they are both using Parallel Ports, and you'll be relying on the compatibilty of a Parallel to USB adaptor for the 2nd printer, which can be hit&miss.

    I'd go as far as suggesting a print server. D-Link have a print server which looks like it's right for you - checkout the D-Link DP 300+. It's got 2x Parallel Ports, & 1x Serial Port. This might be an expensive option (£70ish), but if you have a couple of PCs/Laptops in the same house, then it might be handy. I've never used D-Links print server (I dont particularly trust D-Link products), but if they are anything like HP's JetDirects, then they should be easy to setup.
     
  10. img

    Hitman

    Joined: 23 Mar 2005

    Posts: 631

    or you could get a second pci parallel port card for about £25. easier if old pc and then dont need to worry about converters or other boxes.
     
  11. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,602

    Location: Hampshire

    Personally I'd just switch the parallel cables over depending on which printer I wanted to use.